In the fall of 1946 & 1947 I attended 7th & 8th grade in Broughton and my teacher was Hugh Kane. Somewhere I read this funny little poem and memorized it for a Christmas program. It was a big hit with the audience and I was asked to recite it again the next year. This is the version that I learned and I have no idea who the author of it is or if even known.

James Gholson






Three monkeys sat in a coconut tree

Discussing things as were said to be

Said one to the others, now listen you two

There’s a certain rumor that can’t be true

That man descended from our noble race

Why, the very idea is a disgrace!


No monkey ever deserted his wife

Starved her babies and ruined her life

And you’ve never known a mother monk

To leave her babies with others to bunk

Or pass them on from one to another

‘Til they scarcely know who is their mother.


Another thing you’ll never see

A monkey build a fence around a coconut tree

Forbidding other monkeys to taste

And letting the coconuts go to waste.

Why, if I built a fence around a coconut tree

Starvation would force you to steal from me.


And another thing a monk won’t do

Go out at night and get on a stew

Or use a gun, club, or knife

To take some other monkey’s life.

Yes, man descended, the ornery cuss

But brother he didn’t descend from us!


(Author Unknown)